Media release: Launch of the Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index 2017

The Basel Institute on Governance has just released its sixth edition of the Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index, an annual ranking assessing 146 countries regarding money laundering/terrorism financing risks. To date it remains the only research-based risk rating of countries in this field issued by an independent non-profit institution. It is used by the private sector as an established AML country risk-rating tool for compliance purposes, and in the public sector for research and policy measurement.

Since its first release in 2012 the Index has not seen significant changes in terms of countries occupying the top ten risk positions; yet, in the 2017 Basel AML Index we observe that the average country risk level has been deteriorating at least during the last three years. While the global average risk scores were 5.82 in 2015 and 5.85 in 2016, the average risk score this year is equal to 6.15 (on a scale of 0=low risk to 10=high risk).

Main results and findings in 2017

  • The 10 countries with the highest AML risk are Iran, Afghanistan, Guinea-Bissau, Tajikistan, Laos, Mozambique, Mali, Uganda, Cambodia and Tanzania.
  • The three lowest risk countries are the same as last year: Finland, followed by Lithuania and Estonia.
  • The greatest improvements since 2016 have been made by Sudan, Taiwan (China), Israel and Bangladesh.
  • The countries that deteriorated most severely in their scores in 2017 are Jamaica, Tunisia, Hungary, Uzbekistan and Peru.

Although a majority of countries legally comply with current AML/countering terrorism financing (CTF) standards, most continue to fall (sometimes severely short) in terms of effective implementation and enforcement of these laws. By including data from the FATF, which for the past few years has used an assessment methodology that looks not only at technical compliance but also at enforcement capacity, the Basel AML Index is increasingly able to capture this significant difference.

Find out more about the Basel AML Index 2017 on our Basel AML Index website.

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